October 30, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

All About Aging: Addressing Feelings Of Dizziness:

By Dr. James Davis

Dizziness is among the most common and troubling complaints that I see in my practice. The complaint is troubling because the feelings that people have when they are “dizzy” are hard to describe, often intermittent, and can be associated with serious consequences, including falls and injury. When confronted with a dizzy patient, I start by trying to distinguish between three common syndromes.

The easiest to describe is vertigo. Vertigo is the sensation of movement, a feeling that “the room is spinning” or conversely a sensation of turning or moving when remaining still. The symptom usually has an abrupt onset and may be accompanied by nausea and difficulty walking. Head turning may aggravate the sensation and lying still helps relieve it. Vertigo stems from an inner ear problem affecting the balance mechanism that helps us stay upright. It usually resolves without treatment and within a few days.

Another symptom commonly called dizziness is feeling faint. One feels as though he or she might “black out” or lose consciousness. This feeling usually occurs soon after standing or getting up from lying down and may be accompanied by visual symptoms. Sitting or lying down often relieves the feeling. This type of dizziness is due to low blood pressure that may be caused by dehydration, medication, heart disease or a combination of factors. Careful medical evaluation is appropriate for this dizziness.

The most common syndrome of dizziness is what we refer to as “instability” – a sensation of unsteadiness that occurs only when people are upright. They feel as though they are losing their balance or might stumble and often need to hold onto furniture or touch the walls when moving. They cannot walk in a straight line.

This type of dizziness may have multiple causes and is often due to neurological disease. Poor vision, peripheral neuropathy and cerebrovascular disease are common findings with this condition. Alcohol and a variety of medications, including pain relievers, tranquilizers, antidepressants and other drugs, may play a contributing role.

Normal aging changes in posture and nerve function, combined with disease or medication, can also cause instability.

A physician should evaluate persistent feelings of dizziness.

Careful review of the symptoms and, in some cases, additional medical testing may reveal a reversible cause.

When dizziness is not treatable, particularly in cases of instability caused by neurological disease, physical therapy and use of assistive devices may reduce the risk of falls and injury.

Dr. James Davis is a board-certified geriatrician with the top-ranked UCLA Geriatrics Program in Santa Monica and Westwood. For more information, call 310.319.4371.

in Health
Related Posts

Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s Across Santa Monica Raises $96,000

October 27, 2020

October 27, 2020

Santa Monica and Westside residents walked throughout the city’s neighborhoods, parks and trails, waving flags and sporting purple outfits to...

Edify TV: National Women’s Health and Fitness Day!

September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

September 30th marks National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, Here are a few fun activities to try out in celebration...

COVID-19 Could Have Been in Area as Early as Last December

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

UCLA study reports significant increase in coughs and acute respiratory failure prior to first official cases of COVID-19 By Sam...

County Walks Back Trick or Treating Ban

September 9, 2020

September 9, 2020

Department of Public Health now says trick or treating not recommended By Sam Catanzaro County health officials have walked back...

Trick nor Treat: LA County Bans Door to Door Trick or Treating

September 9, 2020

September 9, 2020

Update: the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has revised its Halloween guidelines. Previously, as reported below, officials planned...

Edify TV: LA County Salons Given Green Light

September 8, 2020

September 8, 2020

Barbershops and hair salons in Los Angeles County have been given the green light to reopen with restrictions in place...

UCLA Searching for COVID-19 Vaccine Volunteers

September 8, 2020

September 8, 2020

Editor’s note: this AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 trial is on temporary hold while the company looks into whether a patient involved in...

Ahead of Labor Day County Warns COVID-19 Progress Could Be Hampered

September 1, 2020

September 1, 2020

Seven-day positivity rate currently below 5 percent By Sam Catanzaro Despite optimism regarding COVID-19 transmission rates, ahead of Labor Day...

New Santa Monica Senior Affordable Housing

September 1, 2020

September 1, 2020

Greenway Meadows development nears completion A new development near completion in Santa Monica will provide 38 apartments to low-income seniors...

Montalvo on Montana’s ‘Boos Boos LA’ Cotton Masks

September 1, 2020

September 1, 2020

By Staff Writer In light of the growing need for personal protection equipment, a local company is getting creative with...

County Can ‘Think About’ Reopening Schools, Businesses if Transmission Rates Hold

August 25, 2020

August 25, 2020

Community spread still needs to decrease, officials say By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County’s head of public health noted at...

My Dog Day of Summer

August 24, 2020

August 24, 2020

I usually don’t sweat the news about temperatures.  I live on the Westside, close to the Pacific Ocean, and it...

Column: How to Play it Safe to Prevent Deadly Heat Exhaustion

August 24, 2020

August 24, 2020

By Shawn McCann  As the Southland region broils in a summer heatwave, the coronavirus pandemic has created additional concern for...

Conscious Human Medicine Helping Santa Monica Residents Reverse Chronic Disease and Boost Health

August 20, 2020

August 20, 2020

By Staff Writer When co-founders Dr. Mahboubeh Hashemi and Dr. Matthew Cavaiola started their practice, Conscious Human Medicine, they had...

LAUSD Announces Plans to Test and Contact Trace All Students and Staff

August 18, 2020

August 18, 2020

By Chad Winthrop The nation’s second-largest public school system will provide COVID-19 tests and contact tracing for all Los Angeles...